Chapter 19: A zither is not something everyone is capable of playing
Seeing Xia Yuqing’s blatant indifference, Prince Rui’s expression immediately turned ugly. Humphing, Wan Feng returned back to his seat angrily and lifted up his cup to chug the drink down.
With that, this short interlude came to pass and the welcoming dinner reverted back to it’s original liveliness. However, there were still some turbulent undercurrents beneath all this peace, making the scene quite interesting.
“Hehe, Xiang’er, you came just at the right moment. It’s really rare to see you stand up for others. You must really like your new cousin-in-law, huh.” Yan Ran smirked as he teasingly whispered to her.
“As if I would help her. I just couldn’t stand Prince Rui’s arrogant, domineering attitude of trying to intimidate others. So this little lady here was helping out my cousin, not that stupid girl.”
“Sure, sure, I know you’re just covering up. But you actually came in at the perfect time. Since Prince Rui received this warning, he should be restraining himself from doing anything for the moment. However…Yan ran’s glance shifted over to Prince Rui’s side. Seeing him currently whispering to Wan Feng, Yan Ran became pensive. “This Wan Feng can even make concessions and compromises, I really can’t underestimate him.”
Shao Zitang didn’t respond. But his glance subconsciously drifted over to Wan Feng, his eyes showing a bit of eagerness.
After another three rounds of drinks, the initial embarrassment gradually disappeared and Prince Rui once again went on to speak. “I heard that it hasn’t been even more than half a month since Consort Qing has entered the palace. Since this is the case, are you accustomed to the palace yet?”
Suddenly being called, Xia Yuqing became alarmed. Hey, just earlier, weren’t you making the most unnatural expression, ever? Just in a blink of an eye, how did your attitude do a 180? You must be scheming something! Trying to pretend to be nice, then scheme behind my back, think again!
Xia Yuqing immediately smacks the hand that comes clawing at her from underneath the table, giving a dignified, magnanimous smile. “Thank you for your concern, Prince. Everything is going well at the palace, His Majesty and the Empress Dowager have treated me kindly. Since I’ve entered the palace, I have not felt out of sorts at all. In fact it seems like I’m back at home, cozy and warm.”
“Oh Qing’er, you are so clever, witty, and adorable. The Empress Dowager and I really dote on you”
Xia Yuqing stared at Feng Tingye’s affectionate expression and couldn’t help but grimace. Oh super seme lord, what are you trying to convey with those eyes of yours?
Wahhh, even when you’re pushing me out to be the shield for all your numerous Ukes, I can understand that. But you have to take into consideration that Im just a weak woman, don’t you notice that with your fiery stares you are burning two holes into me.
[嘤嘤嘤 is supposed to be crying sounds so I will just replace it with Wahh]
“His majesty and Consort Qing are truly deeply in love, it really causes admiration and envy.” Jiang Zhaorou joyfully stood up and looked towards Feng Tingye and Xia Yuqing with a bright smile. “This peasant has heard of Consort Qing from State of Xia. Possessing a celestial’s beauty, receiving the Empress Dowager’s praise and recognition, who else would deserve to be doted on? Because of this, Consort Qing’s six art technique must have reached perfection without comparison. Since today is the day of Prince Rui’s return and there are guests, could this peasant presumptuously request Her Majesty to exhibit some of her skills, to let us poor peasants who has never seen the world to be graced with Her Majesty’s elegance and charm?”
After listening to Jiang Zhaorou’s long rambling, Xia Yuqing was only able to make out two words. “Six arts?”
Cui’er seeing Xia Yuqing’s baffled expression, couldn’t help but warn the Consort. “Milady, that lady is speaking of the Six arts which refer to etiquette, music, archery, charioteering, calligraphy, and math. This maid here guesses that this lady must be trying to get Milady to perform in public so she could outperform you with her higher skills in zither.
Xia Yuqing narrowed her eyes. Ah, this bitch isn’t here to just seduce other people’s husband, but even trying to make a fool out of others!
Feng Tingye pupil stirred slightly, but he didn’t voice out any objections. Calmly looking on, he wanted to see how the girl could pleasantly surprise him.
“In the middle of a court banquet, when was it allowed for some random no-name songstress to come and give out orders? Let this Consort perform for you, do you really think you are worthy?” Liu Yixiang bent her head and took a sip of her drink, also feeling contempt towards Jiang Zhaorou’s words.
Jiang Zhaorou’s entire face paled. Stepping forward, Prince Rui spoke on her behalf. “Well, am I able to request to see a glimpse of the Consort’s skills? Do I have the qualifications?”
Liu Yixiang eyes turned cold and was about to give voice when Xia Yuqing took the initiative to face Jiang Zhaorou. “Both Prince Rui and Miss Jiang are flattering me. These Six art techniques, I have in fact skimmed over. But when I was in the state of Xia my mother stated clearly that the status of a Xia imperial family member is respected and illustrious. It’s completely different from those songstresses who rely on singing and prostituting themselves to make a living. The learned Six arts technique can only be displayed to one’s husband for entertainment and by no means can it be displayed to others, lest it provokes unwanted attention.”
Once these words were spoken, Jiang Zhaorou’s face became increasingly ugly. Twisting her handkerchief, she retreated in embarrassment and sat back down.
Prince Rui inquired with interest “Since it’s like this, your majesty must certainly have seen Consort Qing’s grace and elegance?”
“Naturally! In my eyes, Qing’er’s magnificence cannot be matched by anyone.” Feng Tingye looked upwards like a haughty, proud swan with eyes full of pamper and love.
“Since this is the case, then this official is even more curious. Your Majesty, since today is a family feast and the people present aren’t some outsiders,and not including the fact that this official seldom returns to court, Your Majesty wouldn’t be stingy and refuse to grant this official’s wish of hearing the Consort’s performance would you?”
Feng Tingye didn’t answer, rather he turned towards Xia Yuqing.
Hearing Prince Rui’s overbearing words, she was aware of the prince’s narrow-mindedness and decided to note down noted this moment. Want to watch me embarrass myself? Hah, bring it on! Lets see who will have the last laugh.
“If the Prince is so inclined to hear this lady’s performance, if I continue to decline this request it would be unreasonable. Your majesty, you need not worry about the rest. Since I do have something prepared of the sort, just let this consort perform a song for you and the prince to enjoy.”
Yan Ran whistled and spoke in a soft voice, “Hey guys, do you think our majesty’s consort is able to amaze the crowd or will it be that little songstress?”
Looking at the consort filled with so much confidence, Liu Yixiang coldly scoffed. “Its hard to say. ”
Shao Zitang took a quick glance and saw an exhilarated highness seated in the royal seat staring at Xia Yuqing. With a cold snort, he said “It’ll be suspenseful”
Therefore there’s some matters that could be guessed in the beginning but cannot be guessed in the end.
While everyone was awaiting expectedly or hoping to take joy in the disaster, Xia Yuqing approached the zither, took one deep breath, and her ten fingers teased the zither making sounds fly.
In an instant, the weather changed, sand flew, animals began to migrate, the hundreds of flowers in the imperial garden were scared, leaves and branches were blown off trees, and all the birds hidden inside the forest flew out from fright.
Birds fluttering to get into groups to migrate, suddenly a pluck of a string caused one of the birds to scream out. The bird thumped to the ground from mid-air, body convulsing a few times, and white foam came out of its mouth.